We were cheated by LBL (Lincoln Benefit Live) and its agent Howard Change in March 2008 to enroll in the LBL's Ultra Index Life Insurance plan. Two months later, after we found out the plan was not what we were told, LBL denied our request to cancel it. Here is the story.
We were initially approached by LBL (Lincoln Benefit Live) agent Howard Chang in Febrary 2008. He must have gotten our phone number from one of our collegues, but he wouldn't tell us how he got our contact information. During several meetings, he showed us some tables how LBL provided investment options that also covers life insurance. He showed us several tables that the return, based on the growth of S&P 500, looked very beautiful. He told us there's no risk in the investment, and if we want we can cancel it any time and get the money back without questions. We specifically asked if there are any hidden charges, and he said no.
Even though sometime we had doubts if it is real that the plan is so great in generating cash return while covering the life insurance, but somehow we believed in him that we could get out any time if we decide to do so, and it is part of the Allstate comanpy.
Finally, we enrolled the LBL on March 26, 2008. On that day, he just bring us a bunch of documents for us to sign and leave some documents for us. We were very busy at the time and we didn't review the documents immediately. After two months, we were warned by a friend that the agent we trusted might have lied to us. We then read the papers that Howard Chang gave us on the day he asked us to sign paper work to enroll; and realized that we were in fact cheated by the agent Howard Chang:
1. If we don't cancel the plan in 20 days after signing the document, we cannot get out of the plan. Otherwise, we would lose all the enrollment of about $10,000.
2. There are various charges, which amounts about $2500 a year.
We started contacting LBL customer service right after we realized the issue on June 16, 2008. My wife and I talked to LBL representatives Scott A. Steinbrook , Gary Marshok (x87256) and Marcie (x86484) and discussed our situations. After having conversations with LBL customer service representatives and per their suggestions based on our case, we requested to exercise the Free Look surrender and request a full refund of the premium.
There were three main reasons that we requested the Free Look surrender:
1. We were cheated and tricked to enroll the program by many lies made by Howard Chang. While we were approached by Howard Chang. We repeatedly asked if we could withdraw from the program anytime and get all out money back without fees or penalties and each time Howard Chang answered that we could get all money back anytime and there is no limitation and no penalty or cost. Because we trusted him and believed in the information he told us verbally many times, we didn't review the papers he gave us on the day of enrollment. When we finally read the papers that he gave us in detail, we realized a lot of ( and most of) the information that Howard Chang communicated to us were totally not in line with the paper.
2. We were never asked to read the policy before signing.
3. After signing, we asked Howard Chang for a copy of all the documents we signed, but we never received the copy.
But the requests of cancelling the enrollment were denied by LBL. No, our only choice is to continue to pay them $5,000 every year, or loose all the money we have invested, which is about $10,000.
We don't know what to do. Please help!
Santa Clara, California